We have come at last to Fire, the most dynamic of elements and to me the most interesting. How many of us have looked for answers into its deep blue flames, cuddled up with someone over smores and looked on in horror as it wipes out whole forests and homes. Yes, Fire is very interesting, mesmerizing and complicated. What makes Fire so interesting is its dynamic and transformative qualities. It is the only element that cannot exist by itself. It destroys' another element (for example, air) in order to exist. It also transforms any element that it comes into contact with. So water is changed to water vapor or air, It burns objects into smoke, ash, heat and light.
Fire is fascinating; it creates and it destroys. It can be bright, active and hot like the sun, or cool and steady like the flame of a candle. On a deeper level, the Fire element within us reveals itself as joy and manifests within us as love, laughter and a zest for life.
Unlike Water, Fire is a masculine element. Characteristics are change, passion, creativity, motivation, will power, drive and sensuality. It governs the heart and the small intestines. This makes complete sense since both organs are responsible for providing our bodies with 'clean' energy. The heart takes in air, filters out oxygen (transforms), takes in 'impure' blood and cleans it up and sends it back to our body. The SI is responsible for sorting nutrients from waste. So the SI also transforms the food we take in to provide us energy.
At optimum health, our Fire works like a thermostat. Your fire will tell you when and with whom to be open, trusting and warm and when and with whom to be protective and cautious. Physical and Mental 'pollution' can overwhelm our system and affect the way we process and filter toxins and feelings. When this process malfunctions, we start to feel heavy, sluggish, untrusting, defensive, depressed and anxious.
The other extreme is when our fire is white hot. We don’t know how to control it. It feels like a blaze that won't stop. Always going, always 'on', always talking, self-centered, restless and always wanting to 'make things happen' and be 'productive'.
So how do we control our fire? The flame that ignites us, how do we learn to look within and figure out if we are burning up or if we need to nurture and feed our spark?
When Fire is Unrestrained or Excessive
- Too much Fire dries up Water. This affects the lubrication in our joints and lungs. This can cause an inflamed throat and sinus.
- Affecting the small intestine, it can cause constipation, chronic infections, dry stool and burning diarrhea or/and urination.
- Affecting the heart, it can cause depression, anxiety and sleep disturbances.
When Fire is Lacking or Deficient
· Too little Fire can cause an excess of Water. Again, lubrication systems are affected so joints, digestion, metabolism, menstruation will all come into play.
Poses to help Nurture your Fire
- Twists are a great way to help get your digestive track moving. Twists also help release toxins and increase blood and oxygen flow.
- Inversions are a great way to increase blood flow and flush out the liver, kidneys, nourish the digestive organs and release toxins.
- Supported Back Arches help create space in the abdominal area. This will help with better flow and release pressure around organs.
Think about poses that help fire up your core, Plank, Boat, Warriors are a few examples.
Mantra: “Breathe in Fire, Breath out Anger”.
“Breathe in Strength, Breath out Fear”
Poses to Tame your Fire·
- Standing poses help ground energy. Standing Balancing Poses go further to help you ground.
- Legs up the Wall, reclining bound angle.
- Fish, Spinal twists.
Mantra : “Breathe in Love, Breathe out Hate”
“Breathe in Patience, Breathe out Doubt”
“Breathe in Joy, Breathe out Sorrow”
Fire provides you with heat and warmth but if not controlled can ignite and leave you smoldering. Fire can give you wings of compassion and courage, but it can also be selfish and will destroy anything in its path. Don't be afraid of fire, look within and find a way to nurture your flame. Fire represents your dreams, your beliefs, your virtues, and your spark. Don't stop at imagining them, be fearless and realize your fire, your dreams, your desires. Fire is that tiny voice speaking to you, burning in your soul. Fire knows no fear, shame or doubt.
Learn how to engage your fire, help it transform any negative energy into love, compassion and strength. You are stronger than you think. And anytime you need to remind yourself, put your hand over your heart and feel your fire warm your soul.
"Each of us has a fire in our hearts for something. It's our goal in life to find it and to keep it lit."
-- Mary Lou Retton